There is a spool

curled around heart chamber

former beggar, now tucked in resident

quietude this soundtrack

on a bend in the crying road

nobody saw coming.

It is said, hairpin turns

sharp in their transition

will undo the safest driver

rendering all that was tied neat

with butchers twine and good intention

foul and polluted.

I lost the ability to recognize myself—

mirrors stayed clear of reflection

footsteps went unheard

sound a rushing shell cast off from the deep

lost in time.

People tell you to stay strong, hopeful—

do not succumb to despair

or the voice in your head intoning

portent of doom.

This year cicadas revisit in vast numbers

filling subdued trees with their chorus

and nights are no longer quiet

such the fervor of shared plaintive call.

I want to sit in the leaves alongside them

fat blossoms growing already dry and drowsy

beseechment a gentling art spun above

I want to molt my skin as they do

urging from blackened husk to strange otherworldly

eau de nil

and fly to my dying

freed of shackle and terror’s hot embrace.

Unable to swim I float on chlorinated water

pretending I’m a lotus in forgotten pond

beyond reach of mapd

this suspension a hurried reprieve

from what waits afterward in hollow wings

a comfortable torment renting space

where ivy hope once flourished.

They say the roses that died did so

because they were over-watered

and others believe the blight got them

but they perished after years of their roots

being anchored in earth and that

makes sense and no sense in a

cracked analogous way.

Sometimes I can’t speak for days

when I do, my disused voice is guttural

a split river dried of flow and buoyancy

feral creature removed of language

seeing the immutability of all learned things.

It is not that I do not wish to speak

but the isolation of long traveled illness

exhausted baggage growing soggier with each surmount

renders it futile

an urge to scream is far more

palpable yet stuck

like a deep scratch in my buttoned throat.

All the scars, of all the years

stand like chess pieces before feather of Ma’at

reminders of what I hid from

splices of a life lived fitfully, chewed up and regurgitated

onto a chipped plate on a wonky table in a mismatched house

contemplating what will come if the hallway

narrows and dwindles and no light can be had

what next move will be made? Can we transition

or must we die properly to begin over?

I had terror as a child, I knew it—

licked sweat from its proffered tongue

learned running was a worthy pursuit

when hungered djinn seek you out.

Sometimes I’d feel hands pulling me down

when I swam too deep and sometimes I’d feel

the emptiness of nothing; just slow reduction of self

like evaporate on a hot day

leaves little stain behind.

Translucence became my bed fellow

turning side-ways I was invisible

sun’s shadow blocked me out

sounds muted and skies darkened

until blessed rain washed the crumbs

of fear past.

I remain afraid; it would be a lie to say otherwise

at times there seems only torment—

I flick through my transgressions and imagine

karmic wizard packing my punishment

within a parachute you know won’t open.

How do we stay extant when we are being slowly

erased by every edge, every deed, every word

do we stop? Cease existing and curl

like the creature who inhabited a shell found

on an empty beach you never visited because

the sea was always out of reach?

Then bring me the sea. I want to look

out into the blurred edges of the world

where wild possesses her eternity

in gloried perpetuate

I want to be that emerging cicada

living just for one more day

if it means waking once without hideous

weight upon my back and around my throat

promising to reduce me to silt

with each urgent tug deeper.

How do you find your way back

from a place of void and nil?

How do you regain that necessary faith

in your wholeness when you have become

so acculturated to being incomplete?

Is it possible where the mind goes

the body follows, finding in that rabid journey

the legacy of abuse riddled within

a malignancy without padlock or coin

growing unfettered and soon

we forget how to be unabridged.

Be. Be still. Be listening. Be.

I eavesdrop for an answer, I scrabble for a hand

I cry for my child-self who stands in the past

holding her stuffed toy and pointing

to harm within her and I cannot

speak words so much as feel

this elongated time of grief

will emerge somehow

so different, I will wonder

who I ever was? Perhaps

just eau de nil

caught in the glimmering


periphery of dusk.

(I am booked to go to the Mayo Clinic August 14 for 2 weeks. I am still doing a GoFundMe because the cost of living up there for two weeks alongside the medical expenses and travel will be substantial. I want to thank everyone who has helped, even $5 goes so far and helps so much. Even sharing the GoFundMe or just being supportive, is life saving for me and I am so very, very grateful. If you can spare $5 please go to the GoFundMe which is legitimate and run by myself here: or my PayPal is – thank you so very much. I hate begging but it’s so important to finally get there and get some help after these awful eight years of ups-and-downs and my being so sick now again. Any amount however small really adds up and helps me make this happen).

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